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  CSPAN    Capital News Today    News/Business. News.  

    June 30, 2011
    11:00 - 2:00am EDT  

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testimony that we heard an hour public hearing, the thousands of letters and pieces of written public comment that we have received on this issue and analysis of the data and the evaluation of the guideline amendment in light of the distant which criteria by which the commission h. tecum x retroactivity determination. in my view each of these criteria is fully satisfied. the crack cocaine to guideline reduction is not some minor adjustment designed to facilitate the efficient by twin operations, but it reflects a statutory change that is unquestionably rooted in the fundamental fairness. it first identified the myriad problems with mandatory minimum statutes that penalizes crack cocaine offenders more severely than the defenders who traffic in the powder cocaine in the report to congress in 1995.
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and today there is no federal sentencing provision that is more closely identified with unwarranted disparity and received systemic and fairness than the 100-1 crack powder penalty distinction. congress's clipper the semiconductor sentencing act and requiring the the commission to make immediate conforming reductions in the guidelines was to address this fair sentencing issue. the commission also estimates that a substantial number of affected crack cocaine offenders couldn't see a significant change in their sentences and to a person the federal officials who testified at our hearing about their experience having a minister of the petition for the retroactive penalty reduction before, after the crack cocaine guideline was reduced in 2007 cities guideline changes if made
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retroactive would not be particularly burdensome. it also bares repeating that there is nothing automatic about a guideline change that had been made eligible for retroactive application under section 1.10. in each eligible case, a federal judge must determine the appropriateness of the sentence reduction for that particular defendant adjusting the sentence only if warranted and if the risk to public safety is minimum and judges have proven they are up to this task indeed more than 35% of the motion for a retroactive application of the 2007 amendment were denied. sure many offenders will ask if not all will receive the reduced penalties when the circumstances of the cases are reviewed and the retroactivity analysis is
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applied. this in my view is precisely why the justice department's position on ritual activity need not be displayed. in this context there is simply no need to an employee in perfect proxy's when an actor will judge, with an actual case can make that call. as you can see my vote today does not resemble what the character of a policy maker intent on freeing the violent swings without authorization and against congressional will. rather, it is well supported and fully consistent with the sentencing reform act prior experience and common sense. the commission has the statutory authority to permit retroactive pipeline penalty reductions and presumably congress provided that authority to be used to
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read if ever the day should come when the retroactive application of a guideline penalty reduction furthers our societal interest in equitable sentencing and the avoidance of unwarranted disparity, this is that day. part a and c of the amendment died fine promulgated under the fair sentencing act addressed an inequity the commission has known about and cared about for years. indeed, even before any of the currently incarcerated offenders would be eligible for the retroactive benefit received their sentences. for the past 25 years, the 100-1 crack polder disparity has passed along a persistent shadow. it has spawned clods of
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controversy and of fairness that has shrouded nearly every federal crack cocaine sentence handed down pursuant to that law. in my view now that congress has taken steps to clear the air by making sycophant downward adjustments to the mandatory statutory penalty for crack cocaine offenses there is no excuse for insisting those who are serving excessive sentences under the long disputed and now discredited prior guideline must carry on as though none of this has happened. i believe the commission has no choice but to make this right. our failure to do so would harm not only those serving sentences pursuant to the prior guideline a penalty, but all who believe in equal the application of the
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law and of the fundamental fairness of our criminal justice system. the decision we make today, which comes more than 16 years after the commission's first report to congress on crack cocaine reminds me in many respects a fan of quote a statement from the late martin luther king jr.. he said the art of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. today the commission completes the arc that began with its first recognition of the on the fairness of the 100-1 crack and powder disparity all those years ago. i say justice demands this result. >> thank you.
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always a challenge to follow jackson and her poetry, but i do want to explain my thoughts for retroactive application of part a and c of the amendment we sent to congress on may 1st to implement after sentencing act, but before i get to those two parts of the amendment that reduce guideline sentences for crack offenses in accordance with the reduced penalties in the first sentencing act, i did want to spend just a moment talking about part b of the amendment which incorporates into the guidelines for all drug offenders not just crack offenders certain edgar getting mitigating factors that is not part of the amendment the commission as supply and retroactive aspect for and i want to spend just a moment addressing why this. the aggregate and mitigating factors on part b of the amendment would in my mind and i
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think shared by my colleagues on the commission would involve time-consuming and administratively difficult to apply factors for the courts to look at to read these whiteaker getting and mitigating that were formerly considered by the judges as a part of the original guidelines calculations, and consideration now if we were to consider making that part of the retroactive would require courts to engage in the new fact-finding with the need for hearing and possibly minnick action with your application of the aggregate of factors and particular would be wanted and this process to my mind would be administratively burdensome to the point of impracticality. certainly we got no testimony from anybody suggesting otherwise. that's by far contrast to parts
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eight and see which we are by a vote today voting for retroactivity and their application because we do not believe that administratively those would be unmanageable for the courts and to the contrary we think courts will be able to perfectly manage retroactive application of those two parts of the amendment. i don't want to repeat this history commissioner jackson referred to, but i do want to say the sentencing commission has for many years said that crack sentences were too severe and unfair. under the leadership of the former chairman and our colleague hinojosa we did something about it in 2007. by reducing guideline penalties for crack by two levels and speaking of the guideline retroactive in 2008 he deserves a lot of credit for that.
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when congress subsequently passed the for sentencing act making much more significant reductions in crack penalties than we were ever able to this commission acted promptly in 2010 under the leadership of the former chairman judge bill sessions to enact a temporary guideline amendments to implement the new law and reduce guidelines sentencing for the crack offenses. the new chairman, judge patti and the consideration that we've given today making of the retroactive and i thank her for her leadership. i noted these past actions by the commission to recognize the work of many commissioners both past and present including the reports with the judge and the commissioner jackson mentioned has led us to the culmination of
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research data collection, analysis and reports that persuaded us the steps we took in 2007, 2008, 2010 and today are the right ones. what is noteworthy in this history is no matter the makeup of this bipartisan commission, we have been able to come to a unified position on this issue just as we do today. the commission's work persuaded that readers and crack penalties was the right policy and the right thing to do. making this decision we have heeded the input and for and against retroactive application of the amendment and taken careful stock for the statutory authority to make retroactive cut my amendments to reduce sentencing ranges and we considered carefully the letters received for the members of
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congress some of whom have urged retroactive application of the amendment and others who have not. those members who cautioned against retroactive application has eloquently stated silence by congress on the issue of retroactivity in the fair sentencing act should be a signal enough we exceed authority end of ululate congressional intent by making the amendment retroactive under any circumstances and i want to take a moment to address this issue. the commission has over its history used its authority under 28994 infrequently to make retrospective guideline amendments that reduce sentencing ranges. this is because the finality of judgment is an important principal in our judicial system and we require good reasons to disturb final judgments. indeed, while the vast majority of the 750 amendments to the
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guidelines over the last 25 years and over my tenure on the commission, have been to increase the penalties approximately 100 have reduced penalties yet only 28 of the guideline reducing the amendments have been made retroactive over the history of the commission. the commission's authority to make guideline reducing amendments retroactive is consistent with purposes and duties leave out by congress and inorganic statute. the conagra's gave both lofty goals and practical. on the lofty goals of congress directed us to update and issued amendments to the guidelines that reflect the practicable advancement of the human behavior as it relates to the criminal justice process. practical goals included directions to the commission to examine the capacity of the facilities when we promulgated guideline amendments and in
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fact, chris directed us to formulate the guidelines to minimize the likelihood the federal prison population will exceed the capacity of the federal prisons, and we are now at over 35% overcapacity in the federal prisons. while congress was silent in the first sentencing acted with the retroactive application of the statutory changes made in the new law, the congress has given the commission very clear direction both that we must consider retroactive application of the guideline reducing demand that is the commissioner jackson pointed out, and that as part of the consideration we must take into account the purpose of sentencing set out in the sentencing reform act and our other statutory responsibilities those lofty and practical. among the purpose of the sentencing we must try to achieve our fairness, proportionality and affording unwarranted sentencing disparities and to my mind, retroactive application part a
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and p of our guideline amendment helps achieve those purposes of the sentencing reform act. i share the view of the congressional black caucus that retroactive application of the fair sentencing act guideline changes would help address the racial disparities and sentences for crack offenders and on to a long history of on justice and federal sentencing. to those who have concerns about our agenda on this commission, let me assure you this commission has no agenda other deanne to fulfill our duty to the best of our ability and we do so with our amazing staff. i appreciate the concern reducing the sentences of crack offenders may send the wrong signal about being tough on crime, but this just has no basis in fact. even with reduced sentences most crack offenders will still serve on an average of over ten years. over a decade in prison is a tough sentence no matter how you
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measure it. and crack offenders will still serve tough for sentences than powder crack cocaine about 18 times tougher. in the interim part of the work of the commission and i am proud to support retroactive application of part a and b of the guideline amendment. >> the record stands corrected. >> thank you. >> my vote today in favor of giving the retroactive effect to 750 is based on the fears sentencing act of 2010, the legal standard governing retroactivity, the commission's president and data as well as the public comment the commission has received to date including the criminal law testimony in support of retroactivity. some have argued that the
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commission does not have the authority to give retroactive effect to amend and 750 because the sentencing act is silent with regard to retroactivity. i agree deceiving statute precludes retroactive application of the statute unless congress states a clear intent otherwise and congress expressed no such intent here. however the fair sentencing act must be read in conjunction with the organics statute and in particular, 28 u. s. c. naim 94 which requires the commission to consider retroactivity with respect to any guideline amendment reduces the term of imprisonment even aware as hear that amendment is based on the legislation that is silent with regard to retroactivity. consistent with section one be .10 of the guidelines and 28 u. s. c. am i 94 que, the commission traditionally considered three factors and determining whether to give retroactive effect to a
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guideline that reduces the term of imprisonment. these factors will not exclusive and with the purpose of the amendment, the magnitude of the change as a result of the amendment, and the administrative burden associated with retroactivity. the weighing of the factors leads me to conclude on balance that amendment 750 should be given retroactive effect. the purpose of amendment 750 is to implement the fair sentencing act. among other things amend the threshold's that apply to the five and ten year mandatory minimum penalties such as the ratio of power to crack cocaine for offenses committed on or after august 3rd of 2010 is now 18-1 reduced from the 100-1 committed prior to august 3rd 2010. this change in ratio is consistent with the commission's recent recommendations to congress. when promulgating a guideline
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amendment pursuant to the legislation the rules the commission is to implement the congress statutory direct faithfully and the sentencing act, restricted the commission to promulgate the guidelines, policy statements or amendments provided for in this act and to make confirming amendments to the guideline as the commission determines necessary to achieve consistency with other guideline provisions and applicable law. the purpose is reflected in the title itself as with store the sentencing. the commission implemented these congressional directives through the amendment 750. in summary it incorporates the 18th [rollcall] wan quantity ratio let every offense level on the drug quantity table in .1 of the guidelines. it adds a number of new aggravating and mitigating factors to to the .1 and deletes the guide lines cross reference which requires court to sentence defendants for five or more grams of crack cocaine to read
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least five years in prison. the fact, chris did not express the clear intent to give retroactive effect to the new statutory mandatory minimum penalties and other provisions of the act is a factor that weighs heavily in my view against retroactivity. however this factor is not with respect to the issue of whether the commission's guidelines amendment should be given retroactive effect. amendment 750 substantially lowers guideline penalties, therefore% to 28 u. s. c. 994, the commission now must decide whether to give retroactive effect to any portion of amendment 750. despite the fact that there sentencing act is silent with respect to the guideline activity, i favor giving retroactive effect to the amendment because doing so will confirm the guideline penalties that apply to the crack offenses to those that apply to avert a
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controlled substance offenses. it will ensure the offenders are treated consistently under the guidelines and will restore a greater degree of fairness and sentencing. for more than 15 years the commission as well as members of congress and other stakeholders have argued crack penalties based on the 100-juan ratio are unfair and undermine the key object to of the sentencing reform act. giving retroactive effect to 750 will help remedy the injustice. i also support the retroactivity because i believe the other two factors the commission must consider the magnitude of the changing of the administrative burden associated with retroactivity way in favor of giving the retroactive effect to 750. it to be the commission's decisions today in no way alters the statutory mandatory minimum penalties and the fear sentencing act. the minimum penalty is applied to crack offenders, the committed crimes before
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august 3rd 2010 remain in effect. with respect to the magnitude of the change, the commission estimates approximately 12,000 offenders will be eligible for possible sentencing reductions of approximately 23% on average. these estimates are substantial and comparable to those associated with the commission's 2007 amendment. the estimated savings to the bureau of prisons are considerable. with respect to via the best of byrd, a federal court, concerns expressed in the 2007 had diminished significantly as a result of the supreme court's decision last term in dillinger versus united states. in that case the court affirmed the commission's view as expressed in section 1.103582 proceedings are not fulfilled full-scale sentencing. as judge made clear in his testimony on behalf of criminal law committee of the federal
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judiciary, judges, officers and litigants implemented the 2007 amendment, notwithstanding the considerable resources expended. the commission estimates the number of crack offenders will be eligible for a potential reduction in sentencing will be substantially less than the number who are eligible in 2007. and as in 2007, the commission anticipates a vast majority of the anticipated 3582 motions can be handled on the papers without the need for the hearings or the presence of the defendants. however to minimize the need for the findings, the commission votes today to limit retroactive applications of amendment 750 to part eight ansi in addition the commission amends section 1b1.10 to preclude sentencing reductions below the amended guideline range except in the cases in which the offender received a substantial reduction
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based on a government motion filed pursuant to section 5k .1 of the guidelines, 18 u. s. c. 3553 oral 35 of the federal rule of criminal procedure. these bridling rules are setting clear limits the will minimize and simplify any future litigation. the department of justice supports retroactive application of amendment 750 but has urged the commission to bar certain clauses of offenders. namely those who fall within the criminal history categories for, five, and six and those who have received firearm enhancements. while i share the concerns voiced by the department as well as members of congress regarding public safety relevant sentencing data counsels against categorically excluding those offenders who fall within these categories. in 2007 the commission did not impose any limits on retroactivity and instead amended section 1b1.10 to
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mandate the judges consider public safety in deciding whether to exercise or discretionary authority. the data related to the implementation of the 2007 crack amendment reveals judges exercise the discretion pursuant to section 1b1.102 dni 45 eda 2-cd motion on the merits on the public safety grounds. recently the commission completed a recidivism study in which it compared the recidivism rate of the crack offenders who were released early as a result of the commission's 2007 amendment to those of similarly situated crack offenders to serve their entire sentences. the study found no statistically significant difference between the recidivism rates of the two groups. a crack offenders who fall within the history categories for come 546, and those who receive firearm enhancements are subject to significantly higher penalties that their initial sentencing is.
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any reduction in the sentence these offenders may recede as a result of amendment 750 will in no way negate the extra prison time they are required to serve as a result of such aggravating factors. regardless of amendment 750 offenders and the categories will continue to serve longer terms than other crack offenders. to be sure, certain offenders in the categories of the department of justice has identified pose a significant threat to public safety and should not be released prematurely. as section 1b1.10 makes clear reductions in sentence pursuant to 3582c are not automatic. federal judges are expected to exercise discretionary authority to deny the reductions to those offenders who pose a risk to public safety. indeed section 1b1.10 requires the judges to consider the risks in each and every case. it's important to note the commission's decision today to
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give the retroactive effect to amendment 750 will not take effect until november 1st of this year. the four month delay will give congress ample time to review amendment 750 and potentially disapprove of the commission's retroactivity decisions. will also give the court the department of justice and several defenders time to implement the procedures that will lead to sound and efficient 3582 proceedings. >> women and men that play out that way security why is before gentleman we now turn to the commission to lead to a gentleman. >> in light of the position with crack sentencing it's changing decades of unfair recommend presenting policy and it's not unconscionable if we make a retroactive and most of which i
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agree with i do want to reemphasize a few things. our estimation is that the average sentence served by those practices and install will benefit from the reductions in this will still be in excess of ten years. the prison is currently at 37% over capacity. that 37% over capacity doesn't only create undesirable conditions for prisoners but also corrections staff and the bureau of prison predicts has things are going even with new prisons coming on line that the net effect year after year the next several years is going to be an increase of several thousand prisoners a year. we have to take into account prison in pact when we do our work. and the business also estimates that over the next five years as a result of us making this amendment for attractive, the durell presence could save an excess of $200 million while we are helping alleviate somewhat prison overcrowding. i also want to emphasize while we have to consider what the
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impact is going to become our decision today is based on fundamental fairness. >> thank you. >> thank you. first of all, i would like to say although not as eloquent as everyone else has been, my vote counts as much as everyone else in favor of this amendment, and i will also be remiss if i didn't mention the three chairs who haven't been mentioned to work on this matter. they continued their work and work extremely hard with regards to the crack cocaine issue and judge wilkins wrote a letter in favor of retroactivity so that means every chair of this commission who is presently a share or has been the chair is in favor of this retroactivity to read as has already been stated title xx need in section section 994 requires the commission to determine when there has been a reduction in the guideline as to whether to make it retroactive and to what
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extent and under what circumstances the judges should be able to do that as has already been stated more than once, section 1b1.10 presently indicates there are among other factors that the commission will always consider the purpose of the amendment, the magnitude of the change and that is a cody in applying the amendment retroactively. as it has already been stated also in 2007, we change the guidelines and made those retroactive. it has been clear to me as i am sure to the other commissioners, we have continued to hear comments from judges and others who are interested in the criminal justice system that actually it retroactivity worked well and it was much more simple process than individuals would have thought it might have been. one of the important things we decided the time we voted with regards to the 2007 amendments becoming more attractive was we
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would conduct a study is to the recidivism rates of individuals who were freed and received lesser sentences as a result of the retroactivity. the results we have received as a result of the studies show that there really is no different between the recidivism rates of the individuals who had a reduced sentence as opposed to those who have served the entire sentences. it is also important when we look at those rates of recidivism to realize that when recidivism rates are relied upon and of the percentages, many times those include arrests that haven't turned into convictions yet as well as technical violations that would not necessarily mean to the level of a conviction coming as a result. ..
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the commission and all of its decision, whether it's new guidelines, amended to guidelines are virtually two d. issues all razors use comments from all segments of individuals and organizations interested in the criminal justice system. and we certainly received it with regards to this particular issue. we have heard from members of congress who have different views as to what we should do with regards to this issue.
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we have heard from the justice department, which is the executive branch, the judiciary and the general public as well as from the public defenders as well as individuals to practice his defense attorneys in the criminal justice system. it then becomes the rule to make a determination after having carefully reviewed all of those comments in many ways as judges do every time they sent its individualist with the right thing to do is. based on the decision of the commission, it does not mean any comment has been ignored or not been taken seriously. quite to the contrary, just as judges do when they receive comments in the courtroom and i've received evidence evidence that precursory particular matter, every single piece of comment and every single letter of comments, as well as testimony has been considered and that consider unshared committee has come unanimously to this decision. it is also important for us to bear in mind that on the
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commission does is make certain defendants eligible for reduction incentives. i think we are hearing from some right now. last night and they seem to be very happy about it. however, it is also important to realize that the decision will continue to be in the hands of the judges. they will continue to make these decisions on an individual basis. they are directed with regards to the guidelines themselves to determine whether reduction is appropriate and to what extent it is appropriate within the limits that are set in section one b. 1.10. with regards to those who say, well, criminal history category from the use of a firearm or relevant conduct purposes, that there should be distinctions.
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it is important for us to bear in mind that the guidelines have taken advantage of duration. individuals with higher criminal history category scores have incentives to higher sentences. individuals for a firearm may have been a positive incentives to higher sentence is. all of these aggregating factors have pretty been considered with regards to the sentences handed down. in closing, i would like to say that the sentencing reform act of 1984, for those of us who were on the bench before the reform act of 1984 but i suspect to 1987 was a bipartisan piece of legislation that attempted to create a more fair system that avoided unwarranted disparity in providing more transparency and sampling system at the national level. senators kennedy, hatch, i
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remember some of those individuals that were awfully hard on the system. one of other thing survived provided in a act of 1994 it was a bipartisan commission that was set up to take the sentencing policy decisions out of the political process come out of the hands of just the prosecutor and out of the of just the defense attorney. the purpose of the act was to set the policy -- the sentencing policies of the united states with regard to determination of guidelines and guidance to be given to individual cases at a national level by an independent agency within the judiciary, which was supposed to act outside of the political process and outside of the influence of just one side or the other in the courtroom. the commission since its
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creation has done that. today the commission has done that with regard to its statutory duty, with regard to the decision as to how to proceed with richer activity in a particular statute. and i think it is fair to say that the commission in making this decision is acted outside of the political process and outside of just the request of the defense attorneys in the request is just the prosecution side of it, of any case. or rather has acted in police that the independent judges will make their individual decisions that precursory particular case and whether it's the right thing to do in that particular situation. and also, the decision has been made by each one of the members of this commission based on the consideration of other principles that need to be considered with regards to retroactive application and has
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been made certainly on my part and i certainly believe with regard on the part of every other commissioner, based on the fact that this is the just, the fair in the right thing to do. >> thank you. >> thank you for a match, judge saris for yielding and for your leadership. i think it's fair to say it is in a very busy six months. we have dressed together as they commission a variety of very important issues ranging from health health care fraud to firearms violence and many, many others as well. you have guided the commission and you have brought us to this day for this very important issue of federal sentencing policy. many of my colleagues have mentioned it on people who have participated in the consideration of federal cocaine
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sentencing policy. it's important to recognize all the people involved over the last 17 years. there's no way i could possibly and i won't try to name all of them. but suffice to say that members of congress, current and past, former members of this commission, judicial conference, the commission staff, advocacy groups and many, many others about participated in this issue. i did hear from judge, boy did it and remember well his chairmanship on the commission issued its first report on the federal cocaine sentencing policy, report it remains seminal report on this issue. i also want to mention the thousands of the assistant federal defender's, probation officers and judges who work every day in federal courts across the country and we call upon to implement what the commission has voted to do today. all of these men and women take
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their responsibilities very seriously and i know that they will faithfully execute the law and duty to the best of their abilities. in particular, to want to mention my colleagues and u.s. attorneys offices from coast to coast to go to work every day was two things front and center in their mind. and to do justice. we owe to the entire federal court community and have the great good fortune across the family. as many others have said that her son did not and historic piece of legislation addressed or we think is the single most important issue of trust in confidence in the criminal justice system. it has been a bipartisan basis of debate and was very long overdue. about one a month of the attorney general testified in person before this commission
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and guideline amendments implementing the fair season that he spoke about his personal experience of this issue to him into the cause of justice and i won't go about the reasons for the department supports richer active application of this amendment. we are grateful to the commission for considering the views of the department of justice as the attorney general stated a month ago, we think retroactivity is an important step forward for the cause of justice. after today's vote will come many months of implementation and we think it is very, very important. it is imperative the commission help facilitate the implementation of richer activity and we appreciate the discussions the commission of 30 been planning at the commission and staff a birdie done. we pledge to you are supporting cnet richer activity is done in an official claim that ensures courts get the information they meet to make informed decisions
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on the path of the sentence modification letters are to be filed. we are committed to implementing this decision to issue twin goals of public safety and justice. in his testimony, the attorney general indicated a look safety concerns iran retroactivity and we need to do all we can to ensure the thousands of case-by-case retroactivity determinations are indeed robust and thoughtful decisions are made in every single case. as we have noted often, violent crime rates across the country are generational lows. part of the reason for that is tough sentencing policy. we continue to believe in strong sentencing and look forward to examining important systemic issues facing federal funding in an correction policy with the commission over the coming months. ted sentencing policy can also be fair sentencing policy and we think that the fair sentencing
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act in the commission actions implementing the act are consistent with both tough and fair sentencing. thank you, judge saris for considering our views and for your contribution. >> thank you very nice. so it is with enormous pride that i preside today as chair of this historic moment. the united states sentencing commission i see per the bipartisan body. we were nominated as the president and confirmed by the senate and we consisted judges and former prosecutors and former defense attorneys. we have worked very hard over the last month to come to today's decision about unanimously to make the amendment to the united states sentencing guidelines that reduce penalties for selling and possessing crack cocaine retroactive. as the as the third, it reduces the average sentence for crack distribution at 37 months. the average sentence will drop from 164 to 127 a month.
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the purpose of the amendment is to fix a fundamental unfairness in the criminal justice system. in its report to congress in 1997, as you've heard many reports after extensive research, the commission recognizes sentences for crack cocaine were high because they reached below the level of mid-level and serious traffickers and instead they apply to low-level street dealers. an overwhelming majority of crack cocaine offenders are african-american. because of the unwarranted disparities in sentencing and because it's affected prisons for over 14 years, we believe richer activity is scared distant with the purpose of a fair sentencing that the 2010. has passed, this vote will commit an estimated 12,040 prisoners over more than a 30 year period -- over 30 year.
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to commission a court for early release. as many as two dozen prisoners might be eligible to file a petition in court in the first year. remember though before the prisoner is released, the court has an obligation to consider whether release will create a risk to public safety. certainly there were disagreements that are hearings and dry testimony about the precise form that richer activity should take. however, retroactivity in some form has been supported bya come as you just he gestured commend the attorney general at the 90 states come in the law committee of the judicial conference, which represents federal judges. senators leahy, durbin, frank income as soon, many members of the congressional black caucus, american bar association and mandatory in many, many other advocacy groups.
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for over 15 years, the commission has advocated that congress should reduce the crack penalties to rectify the fundamental unfairness of punishing crack cocaine 100 times more seriously than powder. a broad bipartisan coalition in congress led by senator dick durbin of illinois and senator jeff sessions of alabama were to pass the new law in the senate and representative scott and conyers took the lead to get the new laws passed under suspension of the rules in the house. of course not all prisoners will be entitled to this reduction. why? pers prisoners at the initial sentencing reseda departure below the equivalent of the guideline range will not be entitled to further reductions unless they receive departures for the financial assistance. they finance data, the commission estimates over 750
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prisoners already received reductions below the proposed guideline range as a result of these departures and very these. i can't come up for offenders, people who already have a very serious criminal record will not generally get the reduction. third, as earlier stated, many prisoners will be found a statutory minimum under the previous statue. at the hearing, proposed retroactive application of the amendment reducing crack penalties did cause some criticism. it prompted understandable criticism, but they describe themselves as the boots on the ground law enforcement community and bison carry members of congress by congressman lamar smith, senators bradley in session. their concern is that really release of crack offenders will create a threat to public safety. the commission has weighed these with care. we ultimately decide these policy concerns did not prevail based on the data in their own
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past experience. and let me explain. in 2007, the commission reduce the guideline penalties for crack cocaine by two levels under chairman hinojosa to signal concerning the penalties were too high. it voted to give richer activity of that amendment beginning march 3, 2008. during that process involving a much larger number of petitioners, 25,010, judges rejected as many as 604 petitions from prisoners who had those high public safety risks. they were rejected. indeed, half of the denial were the highest criminal history category. so judges are careful. the three-year study of recidivism rate demonstrated prisoners released early were indeed a little lower than those released under their initially imposed sentence. and of course, bonnie recidivism
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is unacceptable, the risk is mitigated because judges have the right to reject any prisoners who pose public safety risks. for example, prisoners who disciplinary problems in prison. the commission does recognize finality insurgency and those are important goals. and we know that richer activity should be rare. we've heard concerns from the united states attorney's office is. default concerns and from senators and congressmen about the resources needed to implement richer activity. we appreciate and acknowledge those concerns raised about the use of resources, particularly in this tough economy. however, the commission or testimony that retroactive application of the 2007 amendment, which involve a much larger pool of potentially eligible offenders did not overly burden or tax the criminal justice resources.
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in fact, i was at a meeting in boston i can say that from personal experience. the testimony received by the commission in my own experience suggests that the process went extremely smoothly, partly because of the dedicated -- largely because of the dedicated work of u.s. attorneys and public defenders impanel attorneys in the commission as well as the artwork of judges and officers in the commission is confident richer activity of the fair sentencing act amendment will proceed similarly. we believe the clarity of our policy statements, the commission training and our past experience will ensure minimal disruptions this time as well. we have received commitments from all the others from the criminal justice system to work collaboratively on making sure that the amendment applies to only appropriate prisoners. finally, the parents and, the bureau of prisons reported a year of incarceration costs
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about 27,000 per prisoner and prisons are overcrowded as commissioner carr said a 37%. over five years i predict that the gop estimates that it will save $240 million. while cost savings alone should not be the reason for richard to the committee should be taken into account in the decision. this is a difficult decision, but we on the commission had been in the forefront of this effort to address the fundamental unfairness of society created by the crack powder disparity. as chair wilkins -- former chair will consent of the letter, the first year the united states sentencing commission. to take a look upstairs under his picture -- 1985. until 1994 counties that if the law is unfair going forward, it is unfair to those already sentenced under it. today's vote ensures that the purpose of the fierce and enact does not commit justice is
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served in the goals of sentencing further. i look forward to working with everyone but the criminal justice community to address other critical sentencing issues facing the nation. >> on behalf of all of us, i get is appropriate for us to thank you, chair saris for the work you're done with regards to getting us prepared to take this vote as well as working with our staff direct your and everybody on this staff to make sure we have what we need to make this decision and a greenish appreciate the leadership with regard to this whole process. >> thank you very much. thank you to everyone. is there any other comments? with that, is there a motion to adjourn or >> and move we adjourn. >> we have a second? all in favor? [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> we continue our look at the debt ceiling of federal budget debate onto mars "washington journal."
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>> mr. president, i regret that our colleagues have objected toy consent to some of the most critical issues the country is facing to have the finance reements t committee me on trade agreements bs her america and that is so we need is creating jobs.se of on the question of whether there should be a limited use of forcn at the congress in particular the senate should speak and not being able t po do that is prety tazing to and so, i hear a lot about on at ticket to peoples were done. but then i hear objections are trying to mitigate the peoples were done. pretty outrageous. f
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mr. president, i came originally to the floor after this though or thank president obama forendf yesterday calling and echoing my call to end subsidies for big oil. it is they call it received a bipartisan vote here in the bipj senate, a bipartisan majority vote here in the senate, but of course did not pass because of mar colleagues insistence on a r filibuster or a supermajority ie the.put the but it is time for our friends on the other side of the aisle put the interest of taxpayers ahead of big oil and allow these wasteful subsidies to finally end. as the president said, we have t strategies to reduce the deficit like my legislation to cut oil a subsidies thatdy are already introduced and ready to go now we have to do is pass it.
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a vote to allow that to happeneo is a simple choicene for everyod in this chamber. are you on the side ofn working-class families and o seniors or aren't you on theefit side of b,ig oil? saving now, they're lots of ways to cur the deficit, but saving taxpayer subsidies for big oil while anda medicare is not in my mind a solution. it makes no sense, mr. president to get a taxpayer-funded subsidb to the big five oil companies ol earning $12 billion in profits o month. they are going to earn aboutbils $144 billion in profits this year alone and say to families, you have to sacrifice even morea now, those on the other side ofs the aisle would tell the middle-class student whose family earns the medium family
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income of a little over 50,000yt dead now, you can't go to fede college. you can get a g pell grant fromn the federal government, but exxon mobil, a company that wils earn $42.6 billion in profits this year it needs government assistance. and they will continue to comean to this solar, look america int the eye and say that somehow is common phase deficit reduction. mr. president, there simply is no common sense explanation for balancing the budget on the backs of working families and ke that a multibillion dollarsp oin companies keep billions in tax payer dollars.bate so we have this debate about the death of sage and how we do with the debt ceiling, but we don't seem to want to have the sharedr sacrifice and having the speciad
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interest in this country, whether it's big oil or ethanole which had a huge bipartisan vott here in the senate, that they should not face any consequences, but in fact middle-class working families mt should. itable we on the oil companies are among the largest most profitable companies in the o world, but somehow it's hard toi understand the scale of this he our well and this chart shows very clearly. here is our choices. oil's this is the median income families in this country. y this is because profits. whose side are youou on? and you know, it's about closing the polls, which the current budget climate, you would think that overall foreclosing those let me give you an example of what those loopholes are. under the law as it exists to today, we allow the big five oin companies to go to otherto countries in the world to say to them, you know, tax us in a wayc
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that we can take adam ultimatele reduce their excavations here ir the u.s. as u.s. taxpayers are tacked on there and comellar-fod worldwide, bolut entitled for ay government, which makes sense.s. because you don't want to tax or companies twice.t lawye and the u.s. oil and gas companies have very smart lawyers andeign accountants and they figure it if you go to a foreignsty government like indonesia and dt say to them, don't charge me a a don't charge me a royalty, which is what we do here in the unites states to permit these companiee to explore and federal lands and nothey waters. we charge them a royalty.ries, c now, this event in asia and other countries, churchy tax. via clicks because then i can is take all of the tax, which aa really is a license fees, the c
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detect it back here inso the idpres united states. so what does that mean, mr. president?ng that means that american taxpayers are subsidizing foreign oil production. the unid that is not in the national interest of the united states. it is not in the interest of taxpayers insa the united states and it isn't about shared sackt. of rice when we are talking about how to deal with deficits and debt in this country. $ and just closing that loophole was6. closed $6.59 to the treasy that could be put directly to deficit reduction. as a matter of fact, i'm only talking loopholes for the big five oil companies will make $144 billioo in profit. just closing those loopholesyer would say the u.s. taxpayer $21 billion over the next 10 years. some of my friends on the other side of the aisle say well, ifjo you do that to those poor oil
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companies, they are just going and that simply isn't true. first of t all, we're talking $a about 21 billion over 10 yearsso of roughly $2 billion a year. those poor oil companies if they'd only make $142 billion in profits this year instead of ths $144 billion in profits thiss year would not have to raise gas prices because they are makingeo 142 billion year, so they certainly don't need to raise gas prices. making we certainly don't need to incentivize acceleration because they making record profits in to this country and in the world. e $ey don't be nice to incentivize and when they are making $144 billion in profit. o $21 billion. the spray directly to deficit reduction. and only in washington -- only
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in washington would republicanne friends suggested stopping those subsidies to big oil is somehow going to be a tax increase. only in washington could end ino $21 billion in subsidies to thee oig five oil come in a scam hadt been talking about the independent who will make y $144 billion in profits this year, that somehow is a taxway l increase. we'll take what pell grants ford genetic rages. for current seniors on medicare and that's okay.is wrong something is wrong with that my vision of america and just to back up my point hea further than the definitive report by the research service that explains that my proposal to end oil subsidies will not ni
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lower the production of oil and will not raise gasoline prices.. so, mr. president, you drive up to the pump, pay nearly $4 a yoy gallon already come as a realoms real impact on your income, hasa a real impact in your choices come as a real impact on i foodt prices, a real impact in so many ways. and yet, we are still supposed to give the oil company netted $21 billion ins tax breaks by te american taxpayer.'s inter it is time to stand up for the ecial people's interest, not the specialit interests. to put it it is time to end these tax breaks. it is time to put it as a tes of revenue source into our challenges in terms of meeting our debt and dealing with the lk deficit.the amican p and our proposal would do exactly that. i don't know how you can get tho american people and say we're t going to cut dominate games that
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will affect life. on this issue, will keep itsundl oil. will not touch a penny from their pockets. that's fundamentally wrong and the american people know it. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor.y wit >> mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to enter into. a colloquy for up to 30 minutes. >> is there objection? would l without objection. >> thank you on mr. president.la first of all, they too stand very happy that the democratic e colleagues agreed to allow us to come back next week and not continue with the july 4 recessn it is important that we start tt work on the single greatest issue causing the most important issue facing this nation.at a couple minutes ago, i objected to what the leadership wanted us to move to, which was an important debate, but it is not.
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addressing what we need to address. in fact, the matter is in theth. senate this year, we've beenix here six months. paed a bud we haven't passed a budget. as a matter of fact, we haven't passed a budget in the united the midst of a budget deadlines. we should have passed a budget.. appropriation does should be completed by june 10. are simply not addressing the single greatest issue facing this country and the fact we are bankrupt in america. of the six bills that have beeno only six have been passed the united states senate did it become law. three of those were feeding asty last year's business. they were continuing resolutione when what should have happened a year ago as this bill should've verity been passed. president obama's budget couldee be sent over in january was so
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unserious that they actually last zero to 97 in the united states senate.gle not a single democrat senatorwfo ordered for that budget. we have an awful lot of work to do. our budget deficit this year, the highest assessments about $n $1.65 trillion. it occurred over 4 trillion in the last three years. if anybody in america wants to understand why our economy is ia a coma, it is exactly that. people look to washington and see how reckless, how to control her spendingre is. as a former manufacturer senators and investments, creatt jobs, i realize the federal government is spending so much money that it doesn't have. eyentually the federal government will take higher taxes, possibly in the form of i higher inflation. and the other thing overhang in this economy is preventing job creation as the overregulation.
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i cannot tell you how many wisconsin business people come into our office and talking about that regulation with the speculation that one of the agencies agencies are trying to impose onmp them. intere one thing that's interesting about regulations are many of them as they are not breeing n h just like south carolina, over 3 million uighurs have been granted. why is that?understands i believe it is because this administration understands that is the implemented the health care law, if the implemented these regulations, they understand exactly the harmfuln, effect that would have on our hf economy and job creation.n. the fact of the matter is themii this administration has done, they came into office with a tough situation. no doubt about it. but their actions pass a health care locker in 1600 page.frank financial bill that is made toal creation far harder in a situation far worse.he
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i think senator has a few words to say. >> thank you, senator john kingf in support of this movement.rica the movement is we should talk about what america is talking aboutmr the debt. nationa yesterday, the president went on national television andquot "meb chastised congress.to cancel quote, members of congress need to cancel things.day, you know what, i agree.ou? i neared today though,presidentc mr. president. where are you? my understanding is the president campaigning has a fundraiser in philadelphia.toda at a pinkies here tackling thevi nation's problems today. is he contends is the vice he' president, but i think he's insi las vegas campaigning tonight. so the thing is is a two-ways street. if he's going to go on national television andk, chastised us no
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for doing work, we are herewe'r saying we want ttho work on the nation's problems. we are hearsay and the nations that is a problem.reat w his eadministration has said the number one national security threat we face is that that. where is the president an campaigning? we are here, mr. president and we will have an offer. we don't want to raise the debt ceiling. we don't want my dad. country, r as republicans for the good ofhe the country, we're going to raise the debt, but only and i repeat only if we have significant budgetary reform.s o we have to balance the budget by law, for congress to do it by changing the constitution. it's the only way it will ever a change. there is a tautology here. the topology as we do not have a spine. we are spineless and cannot donl what it takes to cuty thether f spending and only we would get .
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constitution. so mr. president, we are here. we welcome you to come back to town in between fundraisers ands talk about how we would fix this. but we would fix this by saying yes, we'll raise the debt ceiling contingent upon aconstin balanced budget amendment to the ng you constitution. 75% of the public is in favor of saying you have to balance your budget. let's come back and discuss with the american people want.eading i commend senator johnson for leading this fight and i think this is just beginning.l we've but i don't plan on saying we should go to any other subject until we address the debt feeling. has >> i totally agree with you. to every senator rubio has a few words to that. you, >> thank you. a tsg watch the president's lecture on i watched again this morning. my reaction is twofold.fi i'm one, is disappointed in these other similar. first and disappointed because america does not have class war.
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warfare. in fact, one of the things thate distinguishes us as americans have never believed you somehow somebody else to be better off. on the contrary, wasay always tf event that causes everyone to believe we can all be profit ana grow our economy thant way. that serves our nation. fortunately, you would know dee. the rhetoric quite frankly was deeply disappointing. the idea for raise taxes by minors and billionaires, raiseab f at that somehow will that somehow will make a difference in america instead can have any misleading, quite frankly it's disappointing. it's class warfare and the kind from a leader of a third world country, not the president of the united states.e two i'm also learned a word about the speech because friend that you can only take two things.r s either the president doesn't truly understand the nature of the problem we face or hasi s decided this is aay political
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issue not a policy one. he doesn't understand nature because image in the jet packcop six different times and yet thev impact is so insignificant the estimate of what it means untila i figure, going further is important to note that exact taa provision was part of the 2009. president's now infamous stimulus plan that passed in february of 2009.reated. the bigger problem is a goods dt president fuendamentally doesn't understand that jobs are all created. life u.s. senators don't create jobso senator johnson pointed that jobs are created by everyday people from all walks of life io and our java government is to fr make it easier for them, not threat harder and threatening to raise taxes, turning to wage tax doesm worker does not accomplish that th purpose. we i would suggest we have done a this before as a people inspeopd america.re music is simpler tax code. a simpler tax code, manageable
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insanely good for environment and a government that doesn't spend money it doesn't have. thesle things were before and over again. dir i urge the president to lead ust in thatha direction.ick >> i just want to pick up on one point you made about classyo warfare. kno 31, 32 years i know a lot aboutt entrepreneurs and i have to point out how incredibly disputing it is to have leadersy in washington and a tacky day in and day out coverage even a few good in all you're trying to do is make a good buy for yourself, family, providing plan or the ae americans.ee the ability tod import out class warfare does not work. improve it does nothing to help improve our economy.rb that >> thank you, senator johnson. there is no issue more important or more pressing for american people in the sun right now, where we've reached a point for the debt to gdp ratio is about f 95%.
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our economy cannot long endure this kind of arguing.n an it has an effect the results ane an estimated thought of a g.d.p million for feature we remain about the 90% of debt to gdp ratio. we simply can't endure that. the american people can'twethe t endure. leads to increase revenues. the only way is to allow the economy to recover. that won't happen as long as weg keep hiring more and more moneyg while doing nothing to control the underlying problem, and a systemic problem that requires a structural reform.ng the american people understandably, justifiably and very correctly are demanding before we raise the nation's yet eebt limit yet again, before wew extended another credit card for the united states of america, w. commit to some kind of cuts. th future borrowing requires us to make future cuts. the moment the debt is actuall'sy uu up, the moment it's incurred, american people are under an
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obligation. ake a promise today that were going to cut would sa3 two or three or $4 trillion ovee the next 10 or 12 or 14 or 15e years, that's a promise that wes can make.righ now, a promise we can't commit to s because this congress, the one that fitams right now will not 2 the same congress that convenes in january 2013 or in january january 2015 or in future years. we've got to make changes right now and the only way we can commit to future cuts, to futury structure reforms, the only way we can buy congress is by t amending the u.s. constitution to change the and money, limit e spending as a percentage of gdp at's and requires her majority to spend more than we have worked e to raise taxes.tion that ll p that's whatut you mean to you. we went to work, went to country table, but we do have some kind of solution that will put us onn course.s,
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that's way rehear. >> thank you, senator. >> i want to thank my colleagues and i think those of you watching this will see we ares new senators back here in the can tell you it's a new memberi' of this chamber, i'm deeply disappointed by the lack of work that we've been doing here insea states senate and the majority leader is in a position where we have it in focusing on the fiscal crisis that is facing our nation right now. and you look the fact that it'se been 792 days since we've had a and i was so excited a senior member of the budget committee to roll up my sleeves and gettue together to put together irresponsible blueprint fory l d country. unfortunately, were told by the majority that would be foolishft to put together irresponsible blueprint for this country and to do the work of the budget
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committee. busin one of the reasons i came toes e united states and i'm tired of business as usual. i know my freshman colleaguesr tackier share that. another president mentioned his children yesterday, but if you ch care about your children in the future of this country, we always to our children to not continue to kick the can down dhe road.nite we should be in the united states senate today and next week, talking about how we are going to put together a to blueprint that makes sure thatom we do not continue to biro from countries like china, do we do not continue to enslave our i children with the debt of this country is accumulating. and we know that if we do not te address this, that the greatest country in the world will goon
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bankrupt. and i for one want to followhe through on the promise -- the american promise that we always would leave them with a better country. and that is so threatened right now with what is happening in washington.orohnson, that is why a share, with myhate colleague, senator john than, it do not believe we should be addressing anything next week at spending and debt. we of the debt ceiling vote worg coming up. so why are we rolling up ourtiow sleeves right now,it mr. presidt and working on a solution with real setting reforms, but ing those handcuffs on congress that we know we need, let the balanced budget amendment, spending tasks, it is yet for our country so we don't continue to have this continuing resolution situation, one that reduces ambient. we need
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we cannot have a tax problem in this country. we have ait spending problem tht we need to create a positive climate for private set yourithn really to the hard work in our washington make our families do in live within our means. so i think next week we should be doing the work that needs toy be done.we are and you know, mr. president, you called on us yesterday to work. we are here working. mr. president, the only blueprint, financial and fiscal lucre into your buffer your budget for 2012 did not even get one vote from a member of yourae party in this chamber.n that budget blueprint would've added another $14 trillion tosi, her dad. so i say to our president, we are willing to a preseason get isiset to work with you to avert this looming fiscal crisis, buts where's your plan that's going to reduce spending and get some
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irresponsible fiscal path to reserve the greatest country in the world the greatest country in the world the greatest country in the world under to join you in all of under to join you in all of our colleaguesvere here to echo the same important message.ut-ontrol heaven knows, anyone paying attention across the country knows that our greatest challenges out-of-control spending and debt. a everyone knows we face a mounting crisis and an important deadline in terms of the debt i? limit.op cha and so,ll when are we going to face these crucial issues, the top challenges we face as a country, when we face them sple. squarely, directly, constructively hereunder for the floor of the u.s. senate?ructive is just that simple. v let's get to the important matter at hand. let's debate in a constructive b way. let's vote on proposals to curbr spending and debt.
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yesterday we stayed together under senator johnson's leadership in a just that. forma and we said were going to blockn any effort to go into a recess or even a pro forma session next week, july 4 receswes. we have done that. up our we've successfully blocked everything simmer going to do it because we need to roll up our vati sleeves. we need to go to work, not on db vacation about this crucial challenge of spend and in debt. interestingly, president of him in many aways that the same thg yesterday. and he chastised congress in 30 to go to work, not go onll, vacation to try to address this crucial issue. first great, we succeeded in canceling that recess.e c that's the first important step. but why are we continuing to trg to move every other issue under theal sun except the biggestssu, challenge our country faces. why don't we face this issue, or
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debate it in a constructive way, measures on the floor that directly address this issue? yay with that t in mind, those of us who join together yesterday to r block our july 4 recess have written senator reid latero i'ld today. and i think it summarizes our clearly comes to read it.t it's not fun. cheerleader reid, yesterday we came together to make it clear y that we believe dissension knoce on vacation where country goes bankrupt we got to block any recess has pro forma session next week.o work that you've accepted that r reality. ft let's not be in session to try and fool the american peopla tto thinking the senate isebatn working on the nation's fiscal crisis. is actually begin a constructive debate on the biggest challenge our country faces, spending and debt. with that goal, we write to aske you feel simple, fundamentalress
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questions. when we put serious bills on the floor to directly address spending and debt?mark u a the budget act of 1974 requires the senate budget committee to mcafee's budget by april 15.he tomorrow will mark the 793rd day of the democratic senate hak passed a budget in the 11th deae week since missing a deadline this year. such when will the budget committee meet to mark up a budget proposal and only put such a proposal on the floor? enact meaningful effect is flo spending caps. when we put a spending cap toe on the senate floor? m we clearly need to enforce discipline of a constitutionaltr amendment. senat this failed by a single vote last time it was to be done for the u.s. senate. when we put a balanced budget and the senate and on the floord senator reid, we await yourr. pe
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response in your leadership.er again, mr. president to summarize, we banded togethersho yesterday and said as the goes bankrupt, we shouldn't on vacation. we're going to block any recesst and a pro forma session next week and we did. challe but we did it to do the spendint and -- in a constructive way to have votes on mac, not totheun. continue to avoid the issue in turn to every other issue underd the sun.wen and so do the chair, i think msf senator reid, why don't we turn to this most important challenge of our country? please put serious bills on the etg senate were were were were read >> thank you, senator vitter. >> thank you, senator johnson for your leadership on this issue has a ranking republican on the budget committee, and n
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assure my colleagues disappointed though we have not functioned. it's good to see senator chiat,e senator johnson, members of the committee. we work hard to get prepared some weeks ago on the assumptios the united states senate would meet its statutory bricklayer judy and that is produced sectin budget. i'm holding onto tile to come id the states code sections 632 and it is the budget act.get. it requires that the congress annually produce a budget. we've got now is 702 days i guess it that a budget. act the first sign of the act is on or before april 15 of each year, congress shall complete actions on a concurrent t resolution ong the budget for the fiscal year beginning the owner first for the next fiscal year.ehoul wow,d we haven't done that. it also said we should hit by
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april 1st. and senator conrad, our budget chairman, democratic chairman was prepared to go forward. it is pretty clear to me that the majority leader decided that la we shouldn't have a budgetst but process.f last year, the budget committee produced a budget out of the committee, but the majority leader failed to bring it out to that on the floor. so. as leader, has the power generator to control that fact and was able to do so. even this see how company said it would be foolish to have a though. so, we are facing the most serious, systemic debt crisis in our nations history. the numbers are so serious in our path is so unacceptable thaf it is clearly the number one ti.
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issue of our time. the chairman of president uponov the fact commission gave us a written statement to the budget committee says this nation has never faced a more projected evolve economic crisis.ef when asked when erskine bowles chief of staff said it could bes two years, a little before coming to laughter. so i guess what i'm saying is al over that these individuals, talked particularly the ones that just finished the campaign travel all over the state, talked to hundreds of thousands, millions their state, got a feel for it. b they are bringing new vitality in new insight into what's happening. and what is happening is nothing. next month have gone by and we t have not had any hearings. ves n floor. we haven't seen any legislations
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so i think that this is an unacceptable method. i think it undermines the classic constitutional duty of congress to appropriate money, deal with taxes. it's our responsibility and weir have to ultimately bed responsible. but have you observed mayors whl say i'm not going to present a budget to city will? such a to the state legislatureo and fight for what they believe in? look what is happening toovernor governor christie, governor cuomo, governor bentley in alabama. it really helps to have the one single per singleso person like you to to represent everybody provide some in the case and it's astounding to me that we haven't seen thate
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from the majority leader in theb senate and from the president. he submitted a patch if it thenn back to a and i went down 97 to not hang on the floor just a few weeks ago. but it was never seriously withi considered. what are we going to do quite we we've made the act within a few hours to vote on a monumental, multi-trillion dollars deal that iised the debt limit of the united states, albeit a.o hav review it. that should be on the floor now. people should be standing up and casting votes right now. howhow much taxes do you want to increase? do you? which ones? how much do you want to cut, sessions? where. let's have the vote out here. that's what we should be doing. i think it will help the american people understand how serious our fix is, what it's going to take to get out of it.
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it's much more serious and our problem is greater than most people realize. so i thank my colleagues for their good comments and the enthusiasm they have brought and the passion they have brought to this critical issue. mr. johnson: thanks, senator sessions. i will point out that business as usual here in washington is bankrupting america. senator demint. mr. demint: thank you, senator johnson. >> i'm glad our republican president did not get the memo they were supposed to be seen but not heard. it's exciting for this old dusty iing establishment when the people i who watch in the door are therea ones leading it so i think all h the freshmen who are sitting here.s washington is addicted to spending.t in the addict in chief is president obama. he's promised many times to s quit, to quit spending to live ing o within our means but keeps
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falling off the wagon and thatde is since the fourth time he's been president he's asking congress to refillable bottles and he can keep spending it andl keep borrowing and keeping increasing america's debt. mayors of congress, the senate hten bragged about the fact wee have the power ofav the purse. o part of that power is to pass te the law to limit how much the administration can borrow. it's been a tradition both consistently blown through that legal debt limit and increased it whenever we wanted another drink. s the debtto limit is supposed toe a stop sign to stop thee administration from spendingnat. more than we can afford as anedi nation. instead, they've turned it into a green light where we can juste fade through and continue to pour more and more debt on to
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our children. but now we'v we gone from that where we brag about how much wet take on we aren't the point we r could seriously lose our nationt i think americans sensed thatmed everywhere. congressman and politicians constantly exacerbate and crylls wolf but i think there is a sense all across america that goes beyond partisanship to thee real worry.. that's what i hear everywhere ie go.w people somehow intuitively know the size of our economy and next projecting what they see on tv and grease and dirt of the world are countries coming unglued could very well happen much we i oicker than we think is in the united states.
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know the president isn't serious about cutting the spending binge because the budget he sent usan practically doubles that and as we've gone through these last few months of talking about aga raising the debt limit oncesal again we haven't gotten one proposal from the president to deal with this issue. many, he's played dozens of rounds ofd golf and had many fund-raisers b around theee country but he has. been a wall on this issue so not only has he added overhe $3 trillion of debt, he's been missing in action since it comes to actually dealing with that and since yesterday they told t congress to solve the problem a and ignored the fact he was elected as president to lead,to yet he is not even following when it comes to this issue. we do have a spending addictione
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and the only way that we are going to stop this and keep ours country from going all over the cliff is if we have a constitutional requirement that w have to stop spending more than we are borrowing. an outside of washington thatay, doesn't sound like an extraordinary thing to say but here last week one of the democratic senators called meneo extreme for suggesting we needed to balance our budget. american families have to do it9 businesses have to do it, 49 states have to do it andainful don't have to do it here and the reason we have an unlimited in government is we have unlimited spending in congress. we have to make a decision which obligate of the whistles to borrowwe more money. we really don't have a goodwe'r choice at this point but ifprest we're going to give theo president more to spend thet obligations he's already made we
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end of the spending addiction and the only way for that to cgs happen is if we in congress give the people of the united states and 50 states the opportunity tr decide for themselves if they want their federal government to have a balanced budget, and that's what our condition is. we will help the president toute deal with this debt ceiling, buw he is goingit to have to agreeet with us and so will the democratic party that we are sts going to send to the states a balanced budget amendment that the states can ratify and five t yearshi after they ratify, this federal government must be in if balance. w if we can't do that, if we can't make that commitment to the american people we are going to stop this addiction, stop bankrupting our country, then we have to go through the pain we'd cost ourselves along with this president when l we don't raisef the debt limit. people in
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we need the help of americans hv today because the people in to o congress do not have the willpower to do what i just said we need e-mails and to tell them president andbe members of lim congress this debt limit shouldn not be raised again ever unlessh we permanently solve thisd problem -- >> the senator has used the 30 i minutes of the colloquy. >> i ask unanimous consent fortr two minutes. >> during no objection to two minutes is granted.: this is vey >> this is little to ask this congress to do to agree with tha next six or eight years to do or the hard work to balance ourretf budgetor and return for giving . president more authority to borrow more money. we await to the american people themselves to let the states and ratify. this is a huge decision and all we are asking our democraticicai colleagues tof do is let americe decide if we should have a
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balanced budget. idea tt let america decide if it is a radical extreme idea we livering within our means and stop spending more than we are bringing in. i know how america is going tom answer that question and that's why i want to give them the mt chance to measure. mr. president, you've got thee money you need to meet our need obligations but once and for w all, we haneed to mean what we y and stop spending this country into bankruptcy. thank you, mr. president.ator s yield back. >> thank you for your leadership it's the most important issue facing the nation.y have s for joining w for the leadership thinks shown as well and with that i yield the floor.senatorrm >> mr. president? >> the senator from colorado. >> thank you for recognizing mey i'm pleased to be here to talkua up these important issues and ws the first thing i wanted to talk about is the debt ceiling itself because people at home areael,
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asking me constantly what in tht world was going on back there wt are dealing with our budget atre the local level at the state level making choices that aren'v popular and are not easy tino me but we are moving ahead makingde decisions in our businesses and what's wrong with washington,em d.c.? part of the problem in this place is people aren't just in inions title but seems to opinions thed are also entitled to their owned set of facts and i think when you get paid by the tax payerllt you have an obligation to out actually not you're own set of facts but to come out here and . say what the facts really are ae and what the facts are in theane debt ceiling, the debt ceiling and the vote is this is not a case of deciding you're sittingo at theo kitchen table and you ae spending too much so you're going to cut up your creditalkig
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card. here. that's not what we are talking about here. these are about bills that have already been incurred by the united states. owed by the united states.p you so what this is about is nott he cutting up the credit card, it's t home saying idn't bud didn't budget very well lastven month or budget very well last year, so even though i watchleay cable happily all year long i'mg not going to pay my cable bill i this month. even though i lived in this house all year, i'm not going to make my mortgage payment this month, i'm just not going to do, it. not that's not fiscally responsible family to do or for the federal government to do. y at home if you do that, what yor discover is that your mortgageeb rate goes throughan the roofou because the bank says to you yot
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didn't pay your mortgage lastoio month.he same ter and i'm msnot going to lend you money on the same terms islandi. before because you were a lousy that is exactly what this isut w about. it's not about new money unit think it's important for everybe ability to understand that we hecause if we don't raise the t debt limit and say to the creditors of g the united states you're not getting paid, our veterans and seniors and the men afghanistanaf, but to our to bondholders commodore not going to get paid, they are going to raise our interest rates.e is gg every percentage increase in our interest rate is going to join us the $1.3 trillion more into debt p.o d
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so these people coming at you wh saying it's not a fiscally responsible bolting to do whenoe we will have $1.3 million more debt to pay and the interest on that debt and nothing to show for it. >> now, it's not surprising forn me that washington beinghat s washington there are peopleee tt see this as an opportunity to ta create leverage over things, to have a negotiation about the. direction of this country, and by understand that. i understand that. i felt for a very long time weot have to get a hold of our deficit and debt, we have ae got $1.5 trillion deficit and gotale almost $15 trillion of debt onal our balance sheet and we have a 1,ral law obligation. 1 i've got three kids of my own the 311, ten and six. me out one of them heard me say that during the town hall meeting any followed me to the sidewalk ande
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said that he, i said what? said, , this was caroline, the oldest- she said just to be clear, sheth was taking front of me because t use that t expression sometimes, she said just to be clear, not paying that debt. r which is the right attitude for her to have and we need to be advocates for caroline benet and all the kids that are living all across t this country, not justo be fiscally responsible which we need to become a not what we are going to cut which we need to do, but also prioritizing what we are spending to make sure we are maintaining the american dream come to make sure we are honoring a legacy of our parents and grandparents and their parents and grandparents and honoring the national creed butt it's our job not as senators but as americans to provide more opportunity, not less for the tt
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people coming out of it.you k the debt and deficit is a huge piece of that but it's not the r onlyry thing. i lay awake at night worrying about the fact that if you are poor in this country it's hard g for you to get a decent education. if you are born jset codeefinedy defined by poverty and the united states come your chance ofol graduating with a college u degree in the 21st century of the greatest country of the world are naim and 100.consigd that means 91 of you arecan' paa confined to a future you can't participate meaningfully in the democracy you are meaningfully in this economy. have a wen need to deal with that. the fact we have an economy inc that's notom generated jobs for the median family income the, is first time in our history, mr. president, is falling, not rising. my town hallo meetings " and say i've donee b everything i can do the last decade player unless a the end than at the beginning and say tt
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me we sent our first kiss to the fancy school but aren't going to be able to send our second kid t there, or we can't send our kids to the best college that they got into. into." we need to be working on. now -r we have an energy policy in this country right now and maybe it't better to say lack of an energye policy that forces us to shift a billions of dollars a week of t our treasure tohe the persian gf to buy oil. the fed does not make any sensem i was on a call last week with far worse from my state that would say to me driven out of business by the broken immigration policy that we havef malkoff i think the people whatt commerce sick and tired of that. and tired of the partisanship.
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i believe people think it's nots going to address these issues and they look the deficit and debt situation and say to themselves this is a reflectionc of confidence we are fearful too have a conversation about all the other things we have to do for our kids and grandkids. the standard of what they want o us to do is extremely clear to me. we are from the most beautiful state in the country. t we are alsoha proud of the fact it's a third democratic or thira republican and formerand wt independent and what i say after this this, they want us to the material we address this all problem. onc they don't believe we are goingb to fix it all at once and they l are fortunate about that. they want to know we are all ino it together that everybody has a role to play in helping preserve choice and option for the next generation of americans and to
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make sure that businesse understands we are going to dots good on the accounts we have.tok that's how washington speak, that's colorado speak and they want it to be bipartisan becaust sit on the approach of this a question. i would add a corollary to that which is that the capitol markets need to be reassured that their paper is going to bei worth d what they paid -- what they paid for it. we need a comprehensive approact here, that's going to require ui to cut discretionary spending. an approach that's going to require us to reform of our entitlement and an approach that's going to require us to do real tax reform in this place. we are not great at walking and chewing gum at the same time the that that's what we need to start doing.. these are comprehensive andould complicated questions. no one would rather vote on
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something that didn't raise any taxes. but the math doesn't work. and it's clear that at the end of the day for us to move ahead we are going to have anhose agreement that has all of those aspects in net, discretionary spending and entitlement reform an ed tax reform that's wife and senator joe hands and iter tohe lrculated a letter to the -- president that had those three 2 elements 32 democrats and 32 sil republicans signed the letter agreeing that all these elements the president said signed theelo letter. agreeing of these elements are going to be part of a final product here. but i wanted to do this all afternoon is simply of us to do our jobs to get this behind us, to begin the building of america again in the 21st century, to make sure we are not
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kie first generation of americans to leave less opportunity lot more to our kids and grandkids. there's a lot more agreement c o behind closed doors in this place than there is out on thefy floor, and we need to bring some of that agreement out here cause i because if we fail to reach some conclusion, before this debt limit vote, and we pce unintentionally or intentionallk in that in a place where we've turned our backs on the debt that we know, we are not goingii to beng able to solve this e problem. the choices are going to makee'e these look like easy choices, so we are going to hope for a few days this weekend. to spend some time with our families and friends and next neighbors and then we are coming back next week and i hope is of devotee comes back, everybody of
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both sides with more of the seriousness of purpose than we have had.it with the ability to see not just political benefit to the benefit of the country of coming to havd agreement. if i can go home and say to people we have reached a deal that meets the terms i mentioned earlier, my view is that would be fine in the democratic parts. of the stevan and republican parts of what we should strive to do. i hope the american people will hold the people in this chamber of accountable.ing to no major would ever say i am going to willingly jeopardize the credit rating of my city in live to fight another day, and ng shouldn't do that either, soi i hope we move past the rhetoric
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of this discussionnv but actualy into a conversation that will solve the fhaundamental problems and challenges that are facingob our country. because if we don't see that wem aren't going to be able to dohis the even more important work and that which is to support theha aspirations all of us have for this country and for our c children in new world that is becoming more complex andnk uncertain every single day. so why thank the senior senator from colorado for his incredible leadership on these issues, and i believe if we continue to tryt to reach out and to work to together that ultimately we are mr. president, i yield the floor. >> thank you. i want to acknowledge the leadership of my colleague from colorado and underlining the his remarks. i think most important is we are
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republican and democratic andant feared independent in our political makeup and i think it drives us to find the bipartisan solutions and bipartisan grounds and that's why we can tto the floor this afternoon was to hopw our colleagues will join us in the discussion about how we movo not just on lifting the debt ceiling for the reasons senator bennett outlined, but for the reasons that we think are as 21u follows we will lay a foundation for mthe economy and send a message to the markets and theaw community that we are serious of dealing with our annual deficits and long-term debt, and i thinkl in doing such we will inject a healthy dose of confidence into our country and markets and ,usiness community and takingord those steps this will be a way
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of moving forward. i i would ask unanimous consent to enter into a colloquy with senator benet. >> senator udall this reminds mb of the conversation i had a number of months ago with somebody in the capitol marketsn and who watches everything going on down here pretty closely buts if quizzically like he can'tt ws figure out what we are doing so i think it was a piece of you are a sometime, somewhere in do, that timeframe i asked what arev you doing because one of the i smartest investors i know, andiy he said i'm buying gold and i said why are you buying gold? he said i don't have any confidence you guys are going to deficit and be able to work this out and get our deficit and debt under or control. but it first intel unproductive that is telling people to buy or sell gold but it doesn't create jobs in w this economy.
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where we want people is and - investing in companies so they can grow and hire people and create jobs. anyway i sisaw him about six weg ago, and we started talking about the debt ceiling conversation, and he said itre u beyond the realm of myift the comprehension that you guys would sail to lift the debt this ceiling. here's a guy cynical enough buyn about the way this works sayingn it's like buying in gold buthat it's even beyond hise reaso fort comprehension that we could faia to lift the debt ceiling and he, understands what the i facts arn but i think we will lift the but e m debt ceiling. i certainly hope we will but thr more important point is with the senator has been working on allt these months which is coming to a comprehensive plan that i actually addresses the problem of our debt and deficits. thank you. >> michael began by hosted the capitol conference two weeks agm
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coloradans from aall section of the state in all walks of life, we had the three main political points of viewbld represented, democrats, kno independents, republicans, and they remark to you after hearing from a broad range of colleagues gracious enough to take time to speak to our constituents and answer questions in the that wee all identify the problem and wen all identified the solution which is a comprehensive planmp that wele implemented together l here on the floor this afternoon to call on all of our colleagues to join us in working togetherst finding that common ground.ous islamic there's a lot at stake is enormous opportunity. one of my colleague ha hs been a successful businessman in one of his previous lives. capital cfec you may want to comment -- >> the capitol conference as well.hat >> it is clear to me that if
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this decision were being left up to 100 from colorado, we would scratch our heads and are do things that would take about a a dayt to come to a set of u solutions that would solve the problem or a least move it down the road and we would feelad pretty patriotic about what weae had done and had done something useful for our kids and at thetn end of the process if weg arelk able to deliver something likeed that, thaayt's how we ought to feel. there's too many days around this place we feel like we've lost sight of all of that and in that conversation you're talking about, alan simpson was should big part, gary hart, a number f people, it was abundantly clear, blindingly obvious to the people in that room that you couldn't approach this problem by drawint
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cight lines and saying no, you can't press this or touch that.e if they knew everybody was going to have to give a little bit here in order to make this work in some of that line drawing ist the way to get past. on >> a comment on two elements of what my colleagues alluded to. what's dhaka at social securityn those in our party said keepff your hands off social security. prram so i know it a strong and important program it is.hildre beyond by wife raise our children and our parents toy retreat to the dignity in theirn later years had the assurancesby of medicare. but if you think social security on paper is solvent you what to think again because there's t $3 trillion owed to the trust fund by the federal government i and yet social security isn't responsible for the shortfalldol because we've taken those dollars and put them in the
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general fund but that is going there's no common sense fixes we can put in place now to protect on the and preserve the social security. t on the over hand we hear in the chamber the tax revenues i o should say our roundtable.shat erery economist in the observerh plans out you can to get out from a balanced federal budget without additional revenue. why can't we start as the commission proposed in the manyf eliminating many of the subsidies and loopholes andthalt special deals on the tax codeth that will over a trillionif you dollars? that's a great place to start if you follow that with tax reform for the corporations andn businesses that's an even bigger could take and there's an agreement in the chamber witt people from across the countryos those are common steps forward d
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>> why we wouldn't want to looka at our tax and regulatory code,. and i share the view i've been,h in government.if i was a school superintendent for almo ist four years and if e think i don't understand what it's like to be on the receivini end of the well-intentioned get legislation from the seed of the mak it gets to the school oroom classroom it makes no sense. believe me looked every singlelt day, and so why wouldn't we look at our tax code and regulatory code and ask ourselves are these tere or less d likely to drive a or more or less likely to grow our economy and create jobs and it's clear we have the highestn. corporate tax rate in the worldg it used to the second but japan either changed theirs or sending in their iain competitive message to the world.on the o but the ever had we've hadth so
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many loopholes, special-interest loopholes that underline the tax code that were not getting the revenue we would suggest as high rate. so in a way this isn't agesting. partisan issue but it's the wo worst of all possible worlds out because we are sending out an te anticompetitive message to the world that says we are closedave for business, and we have a looh bunch of loopholes that may or u may not and i suspect in many cases do not enjoy it innovation in this country in fact most oft them are looking backward to the 20th century and may have said in the middle of the 20thnse to century, but they don't necessarily make sense to builde new, industries here to develop things like the new energy the way economies of important to our state pitch by the way would help lead towards energyi m independence from the persian t gulf.hi there's no reason to think thesn are written down or written in stone and frankly our job is tor make sure so the deficit
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commission makes an excellentthf recommendation on that side of things. the other side is on personal s income tax. said there is we could actually lower rates and raise because more revenue. why? because thedere's so manynow o deductions parnlt of the code is only 30% of the people in this country under - and get the a benefit of those deductions. g you can imagine a world of your body gets the benefit of a lowel rate but are able to haveive revenue to drive us forward. we can get their. the the thing on the debt andtom deficit commission is tom conservative members of this body didn't think he would mindk my saying that and durbin of thh most liberal both voted for ther deficit.t debt reduction report.
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that's almost good enough for me.senatorsn the >> i was proud of the senate when five of the six on the commission voted for the recommendations, not without some concerns or interest in ivt f working the plan but five of the six senators from across the a y sector said this is a good : bennet starting point.hat >> i'm going to stop, but just along that line to get people ch optimism here today in the chamber or that might be ve watching just two weeks ago we took a vote on one subsidy, and senat ethanol subsidy and it was senator feinstein, democrat ande republican and it got like 73 notes. islamic my kids said it wasn't like 73 votes.otes -
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>> on that subsidy. by the way, there were i think tound 40 democrats and 30 some republicans that supported thatk we need more of that around here and i think if we keep working p and shipping away we are going n to see indy 500 and common sen e will prevail over politics.o shu >> senatorr kunes, would you cae to share your thoughts?olorado >> mr. president, the senators o from colorado have of inspired me to come to the floor and joined in a colloquy about the c challenges facing the country, and to the senate terse fromly colin dutrow ayaan please stand in press and their leadershipwi and i greatly enjoyed servingt with them. one i agree that a vote on one of etha our tax expenditures on the ethanol subsidy was ane nscouraging and inspiring momena
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because we saw both democrats the country casting a vote to end tax expenditure subsidies many would argue out lift itstae usefulness. in a marketplace in my home state we recently saw the bankruptcy of the second largest poultry company into the second-l communicated to me their concerr about the ethanol subsidy. there's folks on both sides of that particular debate.nk the i think the larger point that's important to get to is certaint, in the markets. i spent years in the businessd before winning four and being mantra senator benet is familiar with that senator udall, both parties are familiar thatcertaih concern to them by not being bro able to reach a broad bipartisar responsible plan that leaves out
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a free market is we are going td address both of the nation's oudebt record deficit and record debt. the debt today as you know wasn roughly $14 trillion. that deficit has hit an all-time record and we are working on out time. need to better understand the the situation we s are in.eve, i the situation we are in i defaulting on america'stion mortgage. we made a commitment to the an a nation, we've extended ourselves at home and abroad and different ways and i'm worried we are on r the verge of failing to meet the commitment just as americanse er households hesitate before thi defaultingnk on the mortgage wih acquiescing nation as a people have to hesitate, h have to thik deeply about the consequences oo it and i ask the folks who work with me on economic policy to ge quantify. they will get different studies and the country andbe give mee
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chilling numbers. should we fail to meet thesecrey august 2nd deadline secretary diaper has repeatedly since january writing in testimony suggested to us is the absolute last date by which we can reach a bipartisan compromise and a a path forward. we will lose hundreds of callshd as of jobs one study said $640hs of jobs the markets may lose asu much as 10% of the velte which 1 ueuld mean a loss of almost aal trillion dollars of market equity value that means pensiono funds, 401k, personal savings would take a hit.an the average homeowner would see an increase in the cost credit cards or mortgages or car loans. it's easy to think this is an abstract but i think the problem t are causing, the lack ofonfin confidence in the market couldu, have a sudden sharp grinding act effect. do more like animals than they do t
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buy machines and they run off ic aon certain direction, and my concern is we are so used to the country having a aaa bond ratint to be in the world's reserverese currency to be the gold standarr for the most safe most securei m investment i am greatly concerned that intransigence and unwillingness to come to a reasonable comprcompomise is pug us at risk spooking the markets and harming the average americat homeowner and putting a were reading at risk as a country. at the end of the day, i have observed some things about how washington works fso far in myy short six months that really worry me.ffer if i could offer a metaphor it s seems to me there's a lot ofd in sacred cows. our tax it seems the trillions we spend on the tax code through the taxs loopholes and provisions into the trillions we spend for the direct spending broken up into these sacred cows and i feel as
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if i'd gone into very as if i'm surrounded by a herd of sacred b cows and we need is a deliberate bipartisan effort to end of the. herd to make some tough choices, and as i know the senator bennett said previously i want gang to commend the hard work of theo gang of six, the bipartisan uoup that came up with those prophecies and a path forward us committed to this body writing m proposal there are paths for word and ways to make these tim tough choices i just hope befory the time runs out this body will increase these proposals, make the tough choices and sacrifices, come to the center and leave out a path. i don't think we've got until 2 august 2nd. i think if we are going to put a risk in t markets by injecting uncertainty frankly the time lin line may be more le ike the midj of july, and it's my hope jned
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mr. president the senators from culbert will be joined by this l body and both sides of theponsie capitol in crafting a responsible bipartisan solution. >> the senator in effect is saying rather than this being an problem although it is this is an enormous opportunity for theo country to the torian new course and if we agree to do it first and foremost as americans --coey >> the f centers of spoken chair collectively for 30 minutes.ion. >> we thank the share for that and look forward to next week continuing this conversation mr. president and i want to thank my colleague for joiningns myself and senator bennett in this discussion this afternoon.e gratitude to the cementer is from colorado continuing this conversation.
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up next conversation with pakistan's ambassador to the u.s.. the ambassador talks about the long term strategic relationship between the u.s. and pakistan
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and the raid on osama bin laden's compound in pakistan. this is moderated by senior national security correspondent for "the washington post" care and de young who stood by the group patricia ellis gives a brief opening remarks. this is an hour and 20 minutes. >> good evening everyone and welcome. i am going to start again. sorry. good evening, everyone, and welcome. i'm patricia less president of the women's foreign policy group. we promote women's leadership and of places pressing international issues of the day such as our topic for tonight, u.s.-pakistan relations. on behalf of the wfpg and board members present tonight, don,
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gayle, theresa, donna, i want to welcome everybody here. we are so glad that you could join us for this the high end of the headline yvette. these are evens on hot issues in the news and recently we have done a fence on egypt, libya, women in the middle east, and every event tonight is with investor husain haqqani, the pakistani ambassador to the u.s. who will be joined by our friend and frequent speaker and moderator "washington post" senior national security correspondent karen de young for a conversation on the west pakistan relations. the evin and could not be more timely as we all know given the increased tension in the relationship between the two countries following the killing of osama bin laden. we are so pleased to have the ambassador with us tonight to
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explore the complexities and the importance of this relationship and extremely lucky to have care in. i want to welcome a few guests with us, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy. [applause] deputy assistant secretary for economic energy and business affairs deborah mccarthy. [applause] members of our corporate edify is a council, and course, our many ambassadors and diplomatic colleagues we work closely with throughout the years on our embassy events. our next one is going to be jul at the embassy of zambia and will be on african women leaders promoting investment, trade and peace. we are hoping that many of you
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will be able to join for this special event. it now gives me great pleasure to welcome our speaker and moderator. to have their biographies in your program book, so i'm just coming to give you the highlights. ambassador haqqani represented pakistan in the united states since 2008 and appears regularly on television and frequently publishes op-ed pieces. he was an advisor to prime minister benazir bhutto and is a journalist, author, professor and scholar. our moderator, karen de young, is associate editor and senior national security correspondent for the post who is also an author and has lived in many
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senior positions at the post in washington and abroad and has covered pakistan and afghanistan extensively, so we are happy to have both of them tonight. after the ambassador's opening remarks, he and kuran will have a conversation before opening it to q&a with the audience, so please come and join me in welcoming the ambassador haqqani and karen de young. [applause] >> thank you very much, patricia, for the kind introduction. of course when i possessed to come here nobody was paying attention to pakistan. nothing gets set about pakistan in the media so when not use this to be a book to communicate and find another excuse to be on
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c-span. [laughter] some of their for coming here i am. it's a pleasure to see secretary mikhail so it is a pleasure seeing you and thank you for the help and cooperation you offered here and a distinguished audience many of whom i probably know tools you how close i am but i would like to welcome my deputy, the embassy if pakistan is very lucky to have a woman as the second-in-command. we have had to women ambassadors which is a better score than most countries so i'm proud to have a competent woman as my right hand of the embassy.
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let me just begin by saying the young men in suits and stand have been allies. pakistan and the united states signed a mutual defense agreement in 1959 to reach we started a relationship going back to 1949 considering pakistan had independence in 1947 that's like simply sectioned and then we have had a treaty relationship since 94 since the organization just off john foster dulles, back then there of banalize a long time but sometimes i feel this is like a couple that is being married for a long time this still doesn't know each other. [laughter] and that is why we have the periodic difficulties and differences. pakistan culturally is a society
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which values relationships and consistency in relationships. the united states as a more functional approach especially in international relations, and that a man to say let's do this together and the pakistan-based thing this is the beginning of a relationship and in pakistan the americans say we've got other things to do and the pakistanis feel this is a disturbing trend the americans are not our friends in the something else comes back and they say now we need to do this together. so the most important thing is to understand if there is going to be an american pakistan a partnership, it has to be a long-term strategic partnership and it cannot just be transaction. there are transactions even in the closest of relationships. i'm a father so i know you have transactions even with your kids. there's nothing wrong with the
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churn section but it can't be exclusively transactional, and to understand the context of why pakistan as, you know, newspapers sometimes described it pakistanis as, quote on quote, a paranoid and india centric. we have a region with long-lost americans security concern. we know that from fact. we know it from the cold war. we were the country that provided the intelligence base for the mission of a soviet union and got shot down only to have the soviet union take enough with the retaliation without there being any american commitment actually to be there to protect us against that retaliation. americans are a great nation and i said this so many times you know that this is my little clich but i'm going to
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repeat it any way because sometimes cliches are good and that is americans to a lot of things very well. america is a great nation contributed immensely to human progress, the idea of liberty, the idea of freedom and of democracy, modern capitalism, globalization, everything and then of course more than any other nation in at least the last 200 years of that is great but there's one thing americans don't do in fact to the things americans don't deutsch, one is history. the american attitude to history is -- [inaudible] [laughter] [applause] riss henry ford said once all history is bunk. that's the attitude. it's for kids to go to college and studied. a man introduced himself as a history major and looked at him and said the problem was always finding enough kids who wanted a history major because of devotee wondered what plays have been a job of understanding the history and the second part is patience,
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and we and our part of the world that is most important and so there is a historic context to the relationship with our neighbors and because of that we find ourselves in a position the of never been in some parts of the government have never been fully able to trust counterparts and vice versa and now we have a situation in which war we need to tighten and women which is against terrorists and terrorism. they've killed more pakistanis in the last several years have them who any other single nation. people have died in pakistan because of terrorist actions and that includes benazir bhutto of our most popular leader doesn't
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respect popular lead as the americans want it done yesterday the pakistan-based said let's do it quietly and patiently americans do it that way and pakistanis do not agree with the way they want to do it and the headline is pakistan u.s. relationship breakdown again. what we say the relationship is under stress but it is not on the brink because both sides realize the value of each other. the pakistanis realize what important the u.s. is to pakistan and the u.s. recognizes how important pakistan is to the u.s.. if there is to be a stable afghanistan it requires pakistan's critical
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participation in the process and afghanistan. at the same time, the d.c. deval qaeda and terrorist groups affiliated also require pakistan to be able to defeat them at home. but that is not easy. it's not easy simply because it has been said by many american officials osama bin laden was founded pakistan there's no evidence anybody in the pakistani government had anything to do with the presence there but obviously he had an impact and here's my answer to that. 180 million people in pakistan most of them overwhelmingly muslim. a lot of them shared views and ideologies and belief systems that make them sympathetic to radical groups and that is the effort of trying to change the discourse of pakistan, changing the environment, the economy,
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it's been important and that cannot be done, you can't lead the $2 billion changeover but the slide and make them stop thinking that the restoration is the best course of muslims in the world to become so with that kind of -- those kind of numbers, it is if 1% of the population is sympathetic to a few, a radical view for the islamic insurgents we talk about 1.8 million people, that's a lot of people. it's not a small number and the people who can create networks and work and actually provide a private safe haven and sanctuary and cleverly predicted so what is important is to get over the moment and that news is i have spare time like three minutes a
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day i actually tried to find some and i find this game [inaudible] what i do is i e-mail to the journalists stories that have appeared about the u.s. pakistan relationship or something from like seven years ago and i see by the way today's headline ground hog day. [laughter] it's that kind of quality we have to go past this simplification they simply cannot be trusted by the united states united states is thicker when it comes to its relationship with pakistan. it's a difficult - to manage, and as i said earlier its and easy job, that's why i have it. [laughter] but we are working on it.
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it's not going to be easy or happen overnight. this required the important thing is the two countries need each other and we will continue to work at eight. that's the headline, that's the crisis, and of a strategic moment, strategic thinking before we have to go beyond that and understand pakistan is the only muslim majority nation with nuclear weapons strategically located at the crossroads of south asia, central asia and the middle east and his neighbors such as india and iran and china and afghanistan and therefore it cannot be restored, nor can the complexities of its populist 180 million people. there is no such thing as a pakistani, there's 180 million people living in a new democracy we will have a lot of diversity.
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the good news again is working on the democracy, sustained for three years to be able to sustain it for the longer-term future, and as a democracy it's easier for the united states to work with pakistan. in the process of normalizing relations with the neighbors we've had a difficult relations, afghanistan and india in the past and that is already happening and offered a thing is we are also thinking and looking at things differently in set of sitting at the crossroad of the regions, we want to see ourselves as sitting as the opportunity they present us with. the transition is never easy. it's going to be difficult and take time, but we have the clarity of our vision and the intent is to do it. i'm going to leave all the tough questions for karen to maaskant me to answer during the dialogue. thank you for being here. [applause]
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>> you can all see ambassador haqqani as an in depth speaker and in all forums, he is paired with john stewart on the daily show and charlie rose, he's done innumerable talk shows and is incredibly adept not answering questions. [laughter] so am going to try. >> i was waiting for a compliment. as to make it was a compliment. [laughter] in the beginning of the remarks you talk about public diplomacy and what the challenge it was for both our countries. you were quoted recently talking about remarks he made of pakistan's's national defense university. were you asked your audience who pakistan's enemy was? you asked how many of them
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thought al qaeda was the enemy and not many raised their hands? you asked whether india was the enemy and not -- that's where you got most of the hands raised. i think that is something people in this country just find inexplicable, just can't understand. they say my gosh, we've given pakistan $20 billion for the past eight or nine years and granted that is compared to what's gone into a afghanistan and other places. ..
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a and. >> the u.s. could do the same with the pakistan cooperations though that was the divide within pakistan. is a simplistic analysis at even those people who did
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not mind osama bin not been taken out the u.s. should not have done it unilaterally i have a problem in my backyard you can jump across the wall it is a different reaction to those to different things. but let me just say pakistan is that likely in the united states right now that has to do with how the perceptions are being managed. it is pakistan is the source of trouble without the detail if the u.s. asked pakistan to do xyz and they refused then that guide alabama is not as much of an
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expert although those that would argue there is thought -- not that many of foreign policy. [laughter] the guy has a 30 seconds listening to radio as he drives home from his job then he hears something negative about pakistan that is this perception. but the u.s. made a huge mistake a few years ago with new shutdown united states information agency which was a huge operation. which basically was about explaining america to people. we give the money now you should like desperate the with all due respect how many of you have fallen for that in your private life? those x's collect alimony and still do not like them. [laughter] that is not the way the
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world works. so here is a country that the americans came asking us to help them create a massive military it operation against the soviet union when they occupied afghanistan and it was called to stop the soviet march toward pakistan and islamabad. we created a huge group of organizations the golden rule is it always happens but yet you come back from a conscript's but instead of doing that, even the other version four that i was there for the more complex version i remember when i was here as a relatively younger man day gain people
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not to shut down the international military education and training program so you could have military officers having exposure to the united states and they said they could not be bothered because the main concern of afghanistan was over pakistan had to do with the fallout there were the years in pakistan was some of the military successes and political leaders who did not understand and basically to know we just need to divert these guys to use them as the instruments of influence but all of a sudden having the resources to train them and having eclipse them, there was nothing for them. so we have a problem and
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that is one of the reasons why they don't forget about the outcome. the second reason is the overall negativity toward the united states if you have a problem to tell your story, it is amazing if you why john jazeera eric. i don't know if you do but sometimes it is more sympathetic to israel because you have the spokesperson since then they could tell their own story in their own words but there is none so they have the arab version. then you have these people, and now we have something like 38, 27 days 24/7 news channels. guess what united states would be like with 28 fox
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news channel sorrell msnbc? said is the reality you do with their eighth seven of them are really on your side. that is the reason why people don't like united states and pakistan. you did not tell the story and walked away by and large it is the perception. secretary clinton went there and guess what? i would overplay this from 11 percent approval rating may be 10% but trying to explain the position, if it was the election year in the united states, you would make headlines out of it. this is another problem. because you think it is the hard chip most diplomats go
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there for one year. 317 back being as six months of service and three months to pack. that is how they have interaction with the population. the case goes on heard. sometimes i make a better case if i may say so for the u.s. pakistan relations by pakistani television than your entire government. [laughter] and i did answer that question and tremendous detail. [laughter] >> one of the concerns however is if it is a as you say the pakistani government realize it needs the united states and vice versa, the belief it is incumbent on the pakistani leaders to defend the relationship and they don't see that happening. it is not just up to the united states to say like
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us, but those over the act against a better relationship and those that you recognize our anti-american. your own military sees to its advantage and to its own benefit to portray this relationship as not a good. >> the leaks in the media is used often by those who use the policy. be honest. that is one way to sabotage. if you have that situation and pakistan those individuals within the government apparatus civilians are nine civilians to feel the elected leadership moves the country in a different direction.
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but so while i concede the point* that too much misinformation and we both know the details of what the stories are, it could be a very common thing in our part of the world but the real, first of all, we have a very young population. and 48% of those don't go to school. it is very easy for someone to come on television to tell the unusual story. for example, we had a recent television show they were talking about that they had a name for basically the
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u.s. has the ability to maneuver and manipulate -- manipulate and it is absolute nonsense with all due respect to use is that on television i don't have much respect for them, but i agree those who may be leaking stuff to the media for policy reasons but if they work together the government is clearly understanding and a half to stick it out, that is happening in other countries. it sounds like pakistan is not the first that has been affected there are other countries where this happened. and the situation was not very different.
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there were conspiracy theories and they got the government on board. i was just answering why it hasn't happened. because it has not received the quality attention it should have and the consistent attention. after 9/11, the u.s. did a quick shotgun marriage under the regime of general musharraf. neither the government of pakistan considered it necessary to try to create any public support for a change change the environment of the crater american environment. then where this gentlemen decided in real life and killed two people and broad daylight -- daylight in the pakistani city did not how. the argument to respect the
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illiterate population in our villages to understand arguments about diplomatic community? it was ultimately an american who shot to pakistan as without provocation or reason. been getting away with it. so those are the things to take into account. there is enough blame to go around. >> i will give you a complement now that i think the best of washington recognizes the amount of attention they have to devote to congress. you have to spend a lot of time with them sometimes even more with sandoz and the administration that is one of the things that you have done and one of the things you spend the most time on. what is your sense what is the feeling and congress now? are you worried there is a
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push to circumscribing this relationship? obviously the obama administration has gone and added his way to say yes, this is a complicated relationship. we will try really hard. this will work and listing -- listing the accomplishments and counterterrorism. how concerned are you and what effect does it have congress starts to stand up and complain more to the point* of imposing more restrictions and threatening to cut it off? >> we don't this relationship just to be about aid when they threatened to cut off, it is not like we are hired help and the 87 enumeration but we both agree that is the way forward to strengthen
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the capabilities to fight terrorism and having a social and economic base to enable us that there is more recruiters for the future. do not make it that it is a reward with the behavior that is unacceptable it is withdrawn but i am concerned and i fully understand the concerns because it is a very complicated american an audience. middle america concerns as the american economy with the situation like this, a $2 billion without realizing the war in afghanistan consumes $12 million per month which is six times what has been in relation to pakistan.
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that is not rational but emotional and if osama bin laden was in pakistan, we would cut off assistance to pakistan and then every hammer is a nail. that is what you use. but it has not worked in the past. cutting off aid, we would like it for the sake to be able to have their relationship. but cutting off aid as a weapon of influencing policy, said that said, i am sure listen to the military leaders because after all, as someone who would myers america's founding
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principles, i do understand that there is a reason the founding fathers led the conduct of foreign policy to be the jurisdiction is essentially of the executive branch. while the money has to be appropriated the conduct of foreign policy has to be done by the executive branch because they have people who understand whereas elected officials and members of congress take a lot of effort now to understand the countries and their responsibility is to their constituents. so with the ongoing dialogue many of whom are very supportive some are asking tough questions and i respect them my wife is a member of parliament in pakistan and she asks tough questions because that is what they want her to do. i would like the congress to continue to ask the
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questions and i am here to answer the tough questions but this is not what will take those tough questions making them in to threats. and it could reap pakistan and the united states into the equilibrium with those goals to be felt all together. but not by going at each other. >> going to afghanistan, you have the latest meeting of the core group of afghanistan and the united states to talk about reconciliation issues. can you talk about what to pakistan's assessment is?
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the reconciliation in general, reports said the united states became taliban officials? and pakistan has talked frequently about needing a seat at the table. the americans have said you need to sever your relationship with the haqqani network lowered bring them into this process. what can pakistan do to make it work better? >> we support the reconciliation because we have understand the that wars always end through the reconciliation and talks anyway. the reconciliation process has to be led by the afghans. it is their country and with the internal conflict, and
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continued to hold the line and then there was the famous civil war. so we do not want to intervene in past abc's lead process and president karzai and our the jurors continually engaged with the leadership and koppel and afghanistan and the united states form the core group but they would slow the a engage others. it is one minute for me to play professor instead of ambassador. when the soviets left, regional powers adopt
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did different factions of those groups primarily to fight the soviet union. they created a vacuum some groups were adopted by iran or the russians and some buy the eastern neighbor india as some by pakistan. you ended up having different groups have actors and the reconciliation in afghanistan has to be based of the concept none of the players turn the outcome. what can pakistan do? it is ready to facilitate in every way. we have 2.5 million refugees come away had of the ethnic
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overlap from pashtun and afghanistan we with those who have traveled to understand they will continue to look to islamabad but are the services link with those various people on both side of the border could be used to facilitate the reconciliation and the peacemaking process and afghanistan? >>the u.s. has to make up its mind on what it wants to see. once it has made up its mind to encourage the government has facilitators but the most important thing is all three have to share the information, the trusting of
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each other and that should have any misgivings. if you have partners we have to be for the partners. all lot more is happening here. there is a lot more happening behind the scenes as it should. and the required diplomacy that sets the stage that will be seen by the world as the beginning of the reconciliation of process. those are taking place right now. not that they will succeed tomorrow but when the breakthrough comes, then it moves much faster. hopefully we will move faster and we will start
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trusting each other a little more. >> open the floor to questions. do we have a microphone? >> [inaudible] >> you said we have to get over the moment. could you give us any concrete steps that could be taken to improve the relationship? you talk about the value of visits and consultations but
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what are the other things that could be done? and washington relates to china and there seems to be some concern in conversations that pakistan is getting closer and then china and with the nuclear irena and if you could address that concern? finreg the second question first. china and pakistan have been close since 1969 when they took over beijing. it was sawed but since then we could not afford to recognize us we did not think the republic of china sifting entire one could go back too. >> through the first to
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start direct flights to the people's republic and eventually, hard judgment and diplomacy. don't forget history henry kissinger went to the first trip to new china through pakistan that had the entire connection between those. hint 1969 ventas blend the shanghai communique came about. it is definitely washington. it becomes a story. feminism's thing happens and then that is the way it is. 10 at and pakistan have ben friends for a long time and
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have the historic outlook to understand the value of consistency perpetrating up or down, the military supplies are up but they have won higher than this significantly higher and it is the difference? >> gettelfinger we have seen the u.s. and china traditions it is mutually exclusive. we do not see the u.s. and china to say anything. there to break countries. they have their own strength and we certainly don't think china is interested in a cold war with united states and no one it so far has given us that.
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china and pakistan have to remain friends. and hopefully our closeness to china will be of use to the united states horror as the u.s. is close to china, that is the way we look at it. on of the subject of concrete steps to improve the situation with other countries, i think we need to understand that events like those some of bin laden, there are zero ways to sides to the argument. i fully understand that. bear a stent why we have sovereignty and we can each let this pass and move forward. >> intelligence relations in military relations, both sides need to talk directly.
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we worked things out. but when i read the morning paper, ms. ames things have not been worked out. and why am i a one helios pakistani then politicians on both sides say what is going on for the extra food i heard somebody who won't ordered the ins and the daschle business of diplomacy, pick is they have been increased over the next few months. of course, this date